(POSTED: February 28, 2007)
Southern Comfort is classified as a Bourbon Liqueur, which means that it has a bourbon base, but has been infused with other flavorings. In the case here, it is peach that has been infused with the bourbon.
While the actual recipe for Southern Comfort is a well guarded secret, it was first made in New Orleans by a bartender named H.W. Huron in 1870. It won a blue ribbon at the 1904 World’s Fair. Southern Comfort is now made and bottled in Louisville, Kentucky. They do make several types of Southern Comfort, the 76 proof variety that I will talk about here, and a 100 proof variety.
Bourbons in general have certain requirements used to qualify them as a bourbon, the distilled mash must be aged for a two year minimum in brand new white oak barrels, that have been charred. No additives may be added to enhance the flavor in any way. This is where the title bourbon liqueur comes from in the case of Southern Comfort. The bottle also says that caramel has been added, which I would assume is for coloring.
When pouring Southern Comfort in a small rocks glass, it is a pale golden wheat color, very similar to any bourbon or even a whiskey.
The scent coming to the nose is orange for me, I really am not smelling the peach. There is also a slight alcohol smell. The orange that I am smelling totally covers any of the familiar smokey smell that you generally get with bourbon.
This has great viscosity (when you swirl the glass, viscosity is the amount of the liqueur that clings to the side of the glass), rather cough syrup like in texture.
The taste of this is very sweet, with a slight orange taste. Again there is not much of the bourbon coming through, nothing smokey or charred. It will also numb your tongue and lips, anything it will come in contact with, and will burn in your throat the whole way down to your stomach, where it will even warm up your insides. This will be great for a cold winter day.
The finish is very sweet and orange tasting. But my taste buds seem to still be a little numb. This certainly does live up to it’s 76 proof rating.
While I really don’t care for this alone, I do have several great recipes to use this in mixed drinks. This is why I keep this liqueur in my liquor cabinet at home, just to make these drinks.
MAUI PUNCH- I guarantee that this will taste nothing like the bottles of Maui Schnapps that you can purchase at the liquor store.
We would generally make these in a pitcher or a mug. In whichever size container you decide to use, first fill the container with ice. Don’t cheat with this, all drinks are designed to be made with a full container of ice. If you do not do this, it will not taste the same.
Now add, equal parts of the next four liqueurs until your container is half full. Southern Comfort, Sloe Gin, Amaretto, and Triple Sec. Now fill the container to 3/4 with Sours Mix. Finish filling with equal parts of 7-Up and soda water. Squeeze in a lime wedge or two, add a tall straw, and sip away.
This is a wonderful red, punch-type drink. I think it tastes just like Hawaiian Punch, but do be careful, it does have quite a kick.
The recipe for STATUTORY GRAPE is the same, but instead of Triple Sec, add Blue Curacao. The drink will taste exactly the same, but will be purple in color instead of red.
A COMFORTABLE SCREW- don’t let the title scare you. This is a version of a Screwdriver.
Fill a container with ice. Now add equal parts Southern Comfort and Vodka, to fill your container halfway. Then top off with orange juice. For a SLOW COMFORTABLE SCREW add Sloe Gin when adding your liqueurs.
An ELECTRIC SCREWDRIVER consists of equal parts Southern Comfort and Amaretto, then mixed with orange juice.
A SCARLET O’HARA is a shot of Southern Comfort in a glass filled with ice, add some cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime.
While these are all rather fancy mixed drinks, Southern Comfort can just as well be added to any type of soda or juice. It can also be used in more traditional drinks such as, COMFORT MANHATTAN, by placing the Southern Comfort in a chilled Manhattan glass and adding a touch of Dry Vermouth.
As you can see, Southern Comfort is a very versatile liqueur, and can have a spot in anyone’s home liquor cabinet. Have fun making and trying these drinks, but remember “Never Drink and Drive.”
Written by Cynthia Muir